Phillips & Associates

Silvia Stanciu's Article on Racial Discrimination

New York City Attorneys Protecting the Rights of Employees

Silvia StanciuRacism remains a prevalent issue in workplaces. It can undermine your professional life. Employers are not permitted to treat employees differently based on their race with regard to compensation, benefits, training, discipline, evaluation, bonuses, or promotions. Racial harassment is also a notable form of race discrimination. At Phillips & Associates, our New York City race discrimination lawyers provide knowledgeable representation in these claims. Recently, Silvia Stanciu of Phillips & Associates wrote an article in Lawyer Monthly about signs of racial discrimination at work and how to address them.

Silvia Stanciu's Article on Race Discrimination

Silvia Stanciu explained that in a workplace context, race discrimination includes any adverse treatment against job applicants or employees that is based on someone’s race or race-related features. Race-related features can include skin color, facial features, or the texture of one's hair. Often, race discrimination is associated with colorism, or treating a worker unfavorably because of the shade, tone, or color of their skin. Race discrimination can be perpetrated by someone of the same race as the victim. Laws prohibiting race discrimination include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law.

Race discrimination in the workplace can include racial slurs, racial stereotypes, racist paraphernalia like nooses or swastikas, singing along to racist song lyrics, and racist jokes. Employers that make decisions based on a job applicant or employee's race or color can be held accountable for race discrimination.

Implicit Bias

Ms. Stanciu mentioned the impact of implicit bias on employer decisions. Implicit bias describes people's subtly racist or discriminatory tendencies prior to developing into express examples of racial discrimination. Employers are not always aware of their own implicit bias, and they should take steps to address implicit bias. Implicit bias can be challenging to spot when it is simply treated as an abstract idea. It can be helpful for an employer to give HR specific examples of how implicit bias manifests so that they can become aware of what certain seemingly neutral comments mean. Employers are supposed to train workers to notice and address bias.

Signs of Racial Discrimination

Your employer might be accountable for racial discrimination if it knows or should have known that one or more episodes of racial discrimination have taken place in the workplace but does not take steps to remedy them. Your employer should address what happened with both the harasser and you to make sure that discrimination does not happen again. An employer's defense of being ignorant may not be enough to overcome a racial discrimination claim. It may be construed as ratification of a harasser's behavior.

Similarly, it is not enough for an employer to implement a harassment policy to protect itself from liability. Companies can be liable for racial discrimination when managers are actually involved in the racially harassing behavior and thereby generating a hostile work environment for employees. Management can set a tone for the entire office, and their tolerance can be ratification of offensive behavior and make it difficult for an employee to make a complaint.

Employers can be held accountable for retaliation when they do not shield employees who complain of racial discrimination. It is common for employees to be anxious when complaining about racial discrimination. If you are concerned about racial discrimination, you should document what happened immediately after it happened, notify your employer about your concerns, and continue to update HR or management if the racial harassment continues. You should also contact an attorney to discuss your next steps.

If you are not satisfied with your employer's efforts to address the situation, you may be able to file a complaint with an agency or in court. Different laws have different requirements. If your employer has at least 15 employees, you can file a charge of racial discrimination with the EEOC. If a New York City employer has at least four employees, you can file a complaint with the Division of Human Rights or the City Commission on Human Rights. 42 U.S. Code §1981.

Consult a Racial Discrimination Attorney in New York City

Racial discrimination is humiliating and disturbing, and it can harm workers economically. If you are affected by racial discrimination at your workplace, you should get the advice of a lawyer. Contact Phillips & Associates at (212) 248-7431 or through our online form for a free consultation. We handle employment litigation throughout New York City, as well as in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties and in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

45 Broadway, #620,
New York NY, 10006
Tel: 212-248-7431
Fax: 212-901-2107

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Hands down the best law firm for labor disputes in NYC. Being in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years I can say that this law firm is the number one choice for workers in the restaurant business that need to sue their company for wrongful termination. A special compliment to my lawyer Brittany Stevens. An amazing person and well prepared experienced lawyer. She was professional and empathetic to my case and worked in a time appropriate manner. She never miss a phone call at any hour of the day.The other associates that assisted Brittany were Yusha Hiraman, Eugenio Benvenuto, Kevin Guaranda and Katerina Housos. They were all professional and answered any questions or concerns that I had. Brittany and her team helped me with what I needed, when I needed it. I want to thank them all (especially Brittany), for a job well done. Massimo
Jesse Weinstein handled my discrimination case. He was extremely patient and understanding throughout the process and remained professional and consistent even when I could not. I really felt like he had my back and I didn't have to worry. His expertise, combined with the experience of the Firm, resulted in the best possible outcome of my case. Although I wouldn't wish what I went through on anyone, things do and always will happen and I would highly recommend Jesse and this Firm to anyone facing discrimination or other workplace issues. Karen
I was a client with this law firm. I can't stress enough how awesome and professional the people are here. Silvia & Erica made me feel so comfortable and welcome. I never had to guess anything. Anytime I call, emailed, or even texted. They were always there. If not they would get back to me as soon as possible. My case was not an easy situation for me but I tell you these guys made it seem like it was. I'm so glad that I use Phillip & Phillip. I thank you guys from the bottom of my heart. I am so grateful to have met such awesome, honest, and caring people. Thank you again. Djuana
I highly recommend Parisis (Gerry) Fillippatos with Phillips & Associates to represent you for employment related matters. He and his team were professional, attentive to every detail and brilliant at identifying the legal grounds to win the case. Parisis's communication and delivery were highly articulate and precise. He is personable and makes you feel comfortable in the maze of legal jargon. Finally, his confidence, perseverance and masterful negotiation skills deliver the win. Anonymous
I had an excellent experience with this team! Thanks, Marjorie, Brittany, and Candy for your great support and prompt answers to all my questions. I highly recommend this firm. This team works very hard and I am extremely happy with the results. Ana